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HOUSTON-In its most recent round of buying and selling, Weingarten Realty Trust has entered the Charlotte market by acquiring a three-property portfolio with 199,300 sf and has lessened exposure in its hometown by selling 307,935 sf in two properties.

The REIT paid $30 million for Bull City Market in Durham plus Steele Creek Crossing and Johnston Road Plaza, both in Charlotte. “We’ve been in the Raleigh market for a number of years,” Drew Alexander, Weingarten president and CEO, tells GlobeSt.com, “and this deal gave an opportunity to get a foothold in Charlotte.”

The fully leased, 42,500-sf Bull City Market, located at the corner of Broad and West Main streets, is anchored by Whole Foods Market. Steele Creek Crossing is a 96.4%-leased center totaling 77,300 sf center at the corner of York Road. It’s anchored by Bi-Lo and Eckerd Drugs. The 79,500-sf Johnston Road Plaza is at the corner of Johnston Road and McMullen Creek Parkway. Anchored by Food Lion, it is 97.6% leased.

To date this year, Weingarten has purchased 11 properties totaling $232 million and sold more than $141 million in assets. The REIT garnered $50 million from the sales of Bingle Square in Houston and Williams Trace Shopping Center in nearby Sugar Land.

“A large percentage of Weingarten’s net operating income is in the Houston market and Wall Street would like them to be more diversified,” says Rusty Tamlyn, director of capital markets group for Trammell Crow Co.’s Houston office. He partnered with Ralph Tullier to broker the sale of the 261,925-sf William Trace Shopping Center at the corner of William Trace Boulevard and Texas 6. “Weingarten has two other large centers in Sugar Land and wanted to sell off one,” Tamlyn tells GlobeSt.com.

HSM Equity Partners, an affiliate of Henry S. Miller Realtors of Dallas, acquired William Trace Shopping Center for more than $40 million, according to industry sources. The center is fully leased to a mix of national and local tenants, including Washington Mutual and Walgreens.

Sources also say the 46,000-sf Bingle Square, positioned at the intersection of Bingle Road and US Highway 290, sold for roughly $9 million. Bingle Square is anchored by an Academy Sports.

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